Nina Simone Birthday Broadcast

Nina Simone Birthday Broadcast
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 12:00am to 11:59pm

WKCR is very excited to announce a special birthday broadcast in honor of one of the most important vocalists of the 20th century: Nina Simone.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21st, 1933, Nina started playing piano by ear at the age of three. Her Mother was a Methodist minister, and by the age of six, Simone was playing during her church services. It was her dream to be a Classical concert pianist, and after graduating valedictorian of her high school class she moved to New York City to attend a scholarship program at Julliard. After being denied admission to the Curtis Institute of Music in 1950, Simone continued to work as an accompanist and music teacher, but it was when Simone began playing piano and singing at the Midtown Bar and Grill in 1954 in Atlantic City, New Jersey which led her to take on other gigs in the area. It did not take long for word to spread about her unique talent and eventually sign with Bethlehem Records and release her debut album, Little Girl Blue, in 1958.

There have been many artists that have had special talent, but far fewer can be said to have had a purpose in the art that they left behind. Her music, personality, and philosophies filled a hole that was needed not only in the music industry. Her ability and fearlessness to speak her mind at the right time led her to being an instrumental voice in the Civil Rights Movement, especially to young people at the universities she would often perform at. Her music was often labeled as jazz for lack of a better word to describe it, but even more important than what genres it contains, Nina Simone’s music is powerful, inspiring, and quite simply genius. Artists such as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, and Tracy Chapman have cited her as an important influence. In 2008, Rolling Stone named Simone to its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and, in 2018, Simone was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

To commemorate Nina Simone's birthday, WKCR's special broadcast will present a carefully crafted playlist, curated to highlight the importance and depth of her illustrious career.

Listeners can tune in to the WKCR birthday broadcast of Nina Simone on 89.9FM or stream it live on our website, Follow WKCR on Instagram (@wkcr) and Twitter (@WKCRFM) for updates about the special broadcast and future events. Online listening is available 24/7 at via our web stream.